Women’s March, London: VIII – Strength card

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Valentine’s Love & Relationship reading

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Book it before February 1st and get 50% off the usual price – an in depth reading for £20!
Just in time for Valentines 2017 – my Valentines relationship Tarot reading. A heart-shaped, 16 card spread to give you a better understanding of your relationship and its potential.

Tarot readings conducted by email, Skype or face to face. Get an insight into your current relationship:

Why are we together?
Why do certain issues keep coming up?
What makes us stronger together?
What are the lessons to learn?

This spread is divided in 3 parts: You; your partner; the relationship you create together.

CARD POSITIONS:

The Querent:

1 – the Querent at this moment in time.
2 – Issues that affect the Q.
3 – The Q’s gift from the Other
4 – The Q’s gift to the Other
5 – Personal growth necessary for the Querent

The Other: the Querent’s love interest:

6 – The Love Interest at this moment in time.
7 – Issues that affect the Love Interest.
8 – Their gift to the Querent
9 – Their gift from the Querent
10 – Personal growth necessary for the love interest)

The Relationship:

11 – Rewind: the birth of the relationship, why it started.
12 – Karma: the unfinished business/baggage that you bring from past experiences and relationships.
13 – How to grow this relationship.
14 – How to grow this relationship.
15 – How to grow this relationship.
16 – The lessons the relationship will bring – this could be negative or positive, but ultimately, of benefit and growing for the people involved.

Click on my Store and get your reading asap.

The High Priestess: a shrine to masks and veils

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Unclutter your life, they say! What started as a simple, annual tidying up of my make-up shelves, ended up becoming a reflection on the power of masks and how we Londoners are all shape-shifters.

I haven’t met a single Londoner who hasn’t gone through a number incarnations, past lives, all in this one. We all used to be somebody else, often, many others across time. I am different people in different places myself.

the High Priestess presides over the veil that hides our many incarnations. You don’t have to die and reincarnate to become another person: we all have the talent to be many of our different selves, in different places. London favours the shape-shifters.

What about a shrine to the immense power of reinvention of women? As a shamelessly vain woman, I find profundity in these instruments that transform women and help us re-actualise ourselves, express ourselves. Fashion and self-presentation was the only tool that women had for centuries, to express ourselves and as Linda Grant writes in her book The Thoughtful Dresser, there is nothing frivolous about this weapon of survival. This power to shed skins and crate new ones.

So yes, I’ll give you the High Priestess today: I tidied up my makeup shelf last night, under the watchful eye of the White Goddess, the Great Sow of the Universe, who watches over me during my beauty rituals. And I shed another skin, another year, and felt much lighter and grounded as a result. It’s no wonder women are accused of witchcraft. Our depth works in mysterious ways – says the High Priestess.

QUEER TAROT

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Queer theory and the Science Tarot -one of the queerest decks I know! The Court cards ignore the traditional gendering of their roles: Knights and pages are real historical scientists, and can be wither male or female. So are the King’s and Queens. I am going to write soon on how I practice queering the Tarot.

AM I ON THE RIGHT PATH? – TAROT SPREAD

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I get so many inquiries for spreads that ask: “am I on the right career/relationship/life path? What do I need to leave behind? How would changing career/relationship/circumstances impact my life?

I used the traditional Bridge Spread and gave it the meanings that tend to come to me when I interpret a reading. I use my London underground map cloth, because it’s about giving directions, isn’t it?

The Tarot give us tools and tips to improve our lives, and these are to be found on the cards that show were we are going. I don’t believe, however, in destiny or that the cards show inevitable future events, only where our present and past actions could take us.

So on the left side:

I see forces or attitudes that are being left behind, but that still have an influence on our present; on the right side, how the past and present is weaving a future and the Querent’s power to take the future in the right direction.

Card no. 1 shows me the Querent’s present circumstances.

Card no 2. shows what the Querent has been doing;

Card no 3 shows the Change or Plan that the Querent is already working on it; In the middle.

On the right side of the spread:

I see future trends and developments.

Card no 5 shows how the Querent thinks their decisions or plans could change or improve their circumstances.

Card no. 6: how their actual circumstances and environment accept or reject their efforts;.

Card no. 7: What could come to them.

Card no. 8 is a little bonus card, revealing unseen things or giving one last bit of advice.

If you think that this spread is useful, let me know. Constructive criticism and suggestions are also welcome.

LA RUEDA DE LA VIDA – A TAROT SPREAD

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I found this on a facebook group I belong to. I found it intriguing because you had to use a dinner dish and rotate it anti-clockwise to do your interpretation: hence the name, la Rueda De La Vida – The Wheel Of Life.

I am planning to find a more inspiring plate on my next outing to a flea market, but for now, I used one of my dinner plates.

HOW? Ask your Querent to shuffle the deck. When done, place the deck in the middle of the plate and draw six cards, placing them around the sides of the plate, anti-clockwise.

Start by the card on top, then spin the plate anti-clockwise, one card at a time, so each card you read is always at the top. You may want to draw more cards for further information.

The six cards represent (from the top, anti-clockwise):

1. Home, family, the Querent’s immediate surrounding.
2. Work and career.
3. Love and relationships.
4. Friends, friendship.
5. Health.
6. Advice for the future.

It’s quite a unique, old fashioned way of reading the cards, and I’m thinking on designing other spreads, based on the idea of rotating or spinning the cards on a plate. It reminds me of women of other eras, getting together by the kitchen hearth and practising traditional forms of divination that involved household objects. It’s very witchy!

A LITTLE SUNDAY LOVE READING

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 I gave a good friend, a free bonus short reading. To thank her for her support and valuable feedback. She wanted to know about her love life. Here are the cards I drew:

Md left: The Lovers – past/leaving influences.

Md: Strength – The Querent herself.

Md Right: 7 of Wands – Near future actions & energies already in development.

Bottom card: 5 of Cups, reversed – her foundation, deeper values, where she comes from mentally.

Top card: The Star – the Outcome, overall direction, long term future.

MY INTERPRETATION:

I see a very confident woman who is very sexual and not afraid of going for what she wants and what works for her sexually/romantically (Strength). You are currently on an exploration, and adventure and expansion (The Lovers), and the only small shadow I see, is that Seven of Wands suggesting that sometimes, you find yourself wasting energy proving to others that you are strong and confident. It’s as if there people you meet, who want to undermine your sexual confidence. But this isn’t a tragedy. Some people challenge you, trying to find your weaker points. Men may find it hard to believe that you are truly independent, assertive and secure in your own sexuality. You come across as masculine and active in your approach and are not afraid to initiate things, but the kind of men you meet often feel threatened by this (Strength, represented by a fearless woman). These are people whose lives and expectations are very different from yours, probably more conventional and judgemental of your freedom and courage . They aren’t the type of men that would suit you for a long term relationship. They offer a world that you have already left. You will let them behind, because you are already leaving that world (5 of Cups reversed, representing energies at the bottom, ditching a lifestyle and values that no longer work for you).

You have arrived to your current state of confidence and awareness, through trial and error. A long path of abandoning past patterns and people, and working out what does not work for you. These days, you act fast: if somebody doesn’t feel right, you leave immediately without attachment (5 of Cups).

Your confidence in yourself as a sexual being is part of your sense of self-awareness, part of a continuum: your ideals, your outlook in life, your principles. For this reason, as you progress towards a more self-aware and authentic you , your relationships will be more satisfying and rewarding, more in tune with who you really are. You will stop feeling that you have to conceal the real you from the men you meet. Even in casual relationships, there will be a clarity about what they offer, and you are confident enough to enjoy what they bring, and discard what doesn’t work, without drama (The Star). I see you wasting very little time in explanations, recrimination, bitterness or embroils. You are a free spirit, but many men that you meet now, often don’t appreciate this and challenge your confidence (7 of Wands).

Beware of people around you, maybe other female so-called friends, but they could be male too, who want to compete with you or who will try to put potential lovers off you. They might try to persuade others that your independence and confidence are a bad thing. Obviously, it will only put off the wrong people! (7 of Wands)

The overall impression I get, is that you are sailing smoothly without drama, and will continue to do so for a while. No deep emotions, no wild expectations, but many rewards (The Star). When you finally build a well established identity that represents you and brings the kind of life and environment that you want, it will bring like minded, suitable people to you, including lovers. It looks like you are putting a lot of passion an energy in defining yourself and your world in your own terms (The Star).

HOW I DO A PROFESSIONAL READING BY EMAIL

This is why I love technology! I find email readings Incredibly intuitive, because you are there all by yourself, just your mind, your intuition, and your cards. Then I send my reading and cross my fingers that it will make sense. As well as the reading, I have included my Querent’s feedback at the bottom of the post.

Querent’s question: “So, what will bring me closer to letting go of what no longer works?”

Dear C, I did your reading in three stages, because I found it complex and intriguing. I got a distinctive impression of an individual with two very distinctive sides to herself: one, the professional, family, real life commitments person, who is experienced, practical and dependable; the other, an inner, soft, creative C that you left behind in your late teens or early twenties, in order to be operate successfully in the real world. I think that, for a time now, this younger self has been stirring again and wanting to come out, because it’s a fundamental source of strength and inspiration for your more public self. But you fear the disruptive effect that this could have in the life that you have built. You acknowledge privately, but keep it away from others. Fear not, listen to this younger, playful voice.

Overview impression: hard work is not longer enough, it may have lost direction somewhat. An inner stirring, a need for something softer, more creative and less practical, a more artistic voice? You may be feeling constrained by your professional commitments, where you must be very focused, rational, methodical, bureaucratic… This is exhausting you and you have been feeling overwhelmed for a while.

Unfortunately, people around you demand this side of you and you feel trapped in an identity that feels limiting. You are very good at it and many depend on you, but it’s at the expense of another, more free flowing, creative side that has always existed, but that you have put on the back burner for years. Oddly, this “other” you is very strong and gives you enormous drive from behind the stage of life. It nurtures and reaffirms you by giving you a less conventional, more creative way of doing things in your everyday life. It has helped you solve problems like a semi secret source of strength and inspiration. If only you could bring it more to the fore! It has a lot to do with other aspirations that you have, maybe fiction writing or some other form of creative practice. Actually, I think that this artistic side of you is well established and known, but you need to give it more time and space. It’s as if you nurture it secretly, but it would be better, and would bring you much confidence, joy and a more rounded sense of a fulfilled life, if you brought it more to the fore. There’s even a hint that it might be beneficial for your more “serious” side. You think that they both don’t blend together, but they do, more than you give it credit for. Bringing out this other interests is not a short term project, or something I’d advise you to jump to immediately. It needs time, to find its place in the complexity of your life and the people around you.

Like so many of us, you are longing to let go of many of your real life commitments, work, family, mostly work and professional connections, to do something more personal. To explore a side of you that you relate to very strongly and gives you great strength and confidence, but that for some reason, maybe purely practical, you have chosen to keep on a second plane. The word here is CHOSEN. You can also choose to give it more relevance, but you are unsure about the effect this could have in your life, if it could be too disruptive or upsetting. And o wonder. I see opposition or blocks from people around you, that don’t want you to make risks. People who are equals to you, but that you are in some sort of competition or battle of wills with. This is because they need you to be responsible and organised, for their own good and benefit. You can’t take a break without being made to feel guilty or irresponsible. I think that you may have issues with delegating and may have created a certain environment of people who are codependent. this has been going on for a very long time, and how do you change that now? You need to address this issue of codependency or of old habits that don’t work anymore. It may be family related or, work related, or maybe both, if you have a tendency to codependency. You can’t help being the indispensable one, but it may have become a prison. You want to evolve and be free from these commitments.

So in order to let go of what no longer works, I think that you need to identify the people and circumstances that have become codependent. Acknowledge that they can survive without you and that you can delegate on others. Also, to give up on what it’s taking too much mental energy and give yourself space. You may also been fearing a fall from grace from your status. Compromising what you ave worked long and hard for is no joke and you may have fears of “coming out” as an individual very different to the one people around you, colleagues and dependants, know. It’s hard to come out of the chrysalis, when you know there may be danger and threat awaiting. You would probably benefit from a period of time alone to reassess all this. Perhaps not being physically away, but away from your everyday commitments, some kind of sabbatical from work and family or both. You may have been considering this already. Allowing yourself for some time to indulge in more creative, less deadline-focused personal activities that you always put aside, could help you bring a sense of what and how to prioritise. Be more selfish and don’t fear the consequences. I think that you need more art and creativity in your life and pursuits. Practising something creative. You have wanted to do this, or maybe you already do it, but you need to give it more importance in your life. This tender, a bit dreamy other you (and I’m aware that I may be polarising is a bit too much), is an interesting mix of fresh amateurish and great potential to become a very rewarding force in you. It could, potentially, steer your pursuits into unchartered territories. This is both very appealing, but also daunting. You must let it out progressively, integrating into your more established life and interests.

You can’t, and shouldn’t change overnight. One of the problems of starting to express what may seem to others as anew side of you, is that you think that, you are going to antagonise others, who might feel abandoned or let down, and lose allies. The danger is in your own head: there may be a truth in there, but it’s not something that you can’t navigate successfully. You know when we fear doing something, but then we we finally do it, it’s not as bad as we feared. You may be over thinking things, even catastrophising. In a few words: the challenge I see at the moment, is of giving yourself a chance to explore your other needs and interests, without fear of letting others down or compromising your credibility. This need to actualise yourself won’t ease, in any case, it’s been there for a while, like a dull pain that we get used to. The only way to resolve it, is by gradually, slowly, giving yourself more time and space for less conventional or explored pursuits, on your own, away from other people’s approval. To integrate it into your life and current persona. You need only your own approval now, nobody else’s, because this is a major part of you that you have already defended or fought for. There will be more fighting for it, but it will make you feel more authentic and content, once you accept yourself.

Querent’s feedback:

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TAROT CRAFTS: CROPPING CROWLEY’S THOTH DECK

Being homebound with flu, I set to crop my very old Thoth Deck, because I’ve always found these cards huge for my hands. This was my first Tarot deck and I learned all the meanings from it, so I relate to its imagery very strongly. But they still felt physically cumbersome to shuffle. So armed with a large pair of scissors for straight edges, and a cheap 5mm corner punch from Amazon, I did the deed. I like the names given by Crowley to the Minors, so I left them untouched, but removed the unnecessary borders. Ideally, there would be no bands for words pr symbols, so, here is hope that, one day, somebody will publish a Thoth Deck without unnecessary framings or borders. The art is rich and complex enough and doesn’t need anything added to it The results are amazing: it shuffles effortlessly in my hands, and Lady Frieda Harris’ art looks fresher and sharper. This deck is 20 years old and some cards were dog-eared. Now they look as good as new again. I though of covering the backs with gold contact paper, which apparently works very well. The only reason is that I do reverse card readings, and I’d prefer not to know until I turn the card face up. But the artwork is beautiful, and it looks even better when cropped tighter, so I let them as they are. Also, being a deck I’ve been using for so long, I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to turn it into something that might feel unfamiliar with so many changes.

WHEN I LOSE CONNECTION WITH THE CARDS, SOMETIMES FOR YEARS

I have just turned 50, a momentous age, apparently, and realised that I have been using tarot cards for 30 years. I bought my first deck, the Thoth Tarot, when I moved to London at the tender age of 20 and started buying books and learning the cards’ meanings straight away. I did temptative card spreads for skeptical, curious friends in squats; at druggie parties; in the restaurant where I was working as waitress and for my first live-in boyfriend, who was more scared of them, or maybe, of having a witchy girlfriend, than he let out. The cards’s imagery and metaphors, became closely woven into my journey into and then through, adulthood. They illustrated my life events.

That original Thoth Tarot deck that I bought at Mysteries in Covent Garden with my weekly waitress’ wages, is still with me, and it’s been with me, wherever I’ve lived. However, there have been periods when my involvement with the cards has ceased completely, only to bounce back reenergised and with new insights. It always happens. There were years when i’d forget about the cards, but their powerful images stayed with me, perhaps because I was young and my life was tough, but taking form, and they embedded themselves, with their meanings, into my own personal life narratives.

I have never deliberately put my cards aside, but there have been periods when I didn’t feel a need to use them, so they fell by the wayside because they didn’t fit with my mindset at the time. Normally for months, but I took them with me, wherever I moved to, from house to hose, from country to country. Even if I didn’t unwrapped the silk scarves, they were somewhere near me, in a drawer, in my student digs, in my first flat, even in my suitcase, on my first intercontinental trip.

I have never been a compulsive tarot user, I don’t use them daily, but there are times when they are more present in my life, and times when they aren’t. However, I think of them when events happen, of the three of cards and utter heartbreak and despair, of the Lovers and the need to go forth and multiply (in a symbolic sense)…

Only on one occasion, about 9 years ago, and due to a tragic life event, I felt that I had lost all connection with the cards and wanted nothing to do with them. I couldn’t even look at them and they were forgotten for a very long time.

My belief in the cards is perhaps not very standard. I am an atheist and I have no spiritual beliefs, no interest in the esoteric nor in any New Age stuff. I am not knocking other people’s interests, I respect them all, but I’m not into the esoteric and spiritual stuff that comes often attached to the Tarot. So when my life was turned upside down due to bereavement, I felt that the cards had no place in my life anymore. I felt that they clashed with my rational thinking and with my university education. I wanted nothing with that need to explore my intuition, although I do believe that we are intuitive beings, and that the cards are a vehicle to channel this intuition in our minds. However, i felt very conflicted, specially around issues concerning future predictions, and I never spoke about my studies of the Tarot with anyone.

It was only after years of mourning and healing, that I began to think of the cards again. When my life pulled itself together once again, the cards waved to me from their dusty corner. Very powerfully too.

It felt as if during this time in the dark, my understanding of the Tarot had grown richer and more complex, along with my own life experience. I had gained a new understanding of them, deeper, more mature, for sure, but also, aligned with my own values and beliefs. They didn’t clash with them anymore. I had been studying the cards from a young age, and their imagery has become part of my own symbolic understanding of the world. Its images and symbols are very old, that’s why we humans relate to them: they speak in a universal language. I understood that this language was part of me, and that it fitted in my life better than I suspected. How the tarot works, what you get out of it, is entirely subjective and adapted to your philosophy and your needs. The tarot is malleable, it doesn’t impose itself, you mould it into your own instrument. I have found how the cards work for me: for example, I don’t do future predictions, and I refer to my consultations as guidance or coaching. I also incorporate elements of feminist and queer theory thinking, which are part of my “other” work. I question it’s gendering and binary tendencies, it’s sense of class and hierarchy; but I think that these are ideologies imposed by those who write books. You start reading books about the tarot, to learn the basic, traditional meanings of each card. Slowly, you depart from them the more you use them, and off you go, into your own journey. New interpretations and meanings reveal themselves to you, customised for you, that often, only make sense to you and are in position with traditional interpretations. You do with the tarot whatever you like, and if you want to associate it with chakras or with angels, that’s your choice; but if you prefer to think that it’s a form of counselling, that’s perfectly fine too. The cards must speak our language, not the other way round.

I don’t know if or when my exploration of the Tarot might become dormant again, but I know that, as a tarot reader told me many years ago, when i was starting, that they will always call me back when I need them, and each time, I will come back to find richer, deeper meanings in them. We don’t stop processing the symbolism of the tarot when we stop looking at it, even if we put our cards in a box for years. Those dormant periods when the cards stop calling us, are an essential part of the path.